By Sakshi Kale

A new cafe opened in August, known as Cafe Arpan. The cafe is run by the Yash Charitable Fund. It is one such cafe that is slowly changing people’s outlook on society and their beliefs about differently-abled people. The cafe has 12 employees, including the counter person, chefs and the waiters and waitresses. The staff is a group of adults with either learning or physical disabilities. They have a variety of different problems varying from, Down syndrome, and Autism. The same group pioneered the very successful lunch box service run by specially abled people, which has now broadened and become a great cafe. This idea was inspired by a similar cafe in Manila, called the Puzzle Cafe, started by the family of Jose Canoy.

The Yash Charitable Fund says, “We believe that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, just need the right workplace”.

“Café Arpan has become a natural extension of the dabba delivery business as demand and its reputation steadily has grown along with the skills and confidence of the ever-cheerful Arpan team,” said Sushma Nagarkar, managing trustee of Yash Charitable Trust, and a parent of a youth with a developmental disability.

Such cafés have been developed to enhance the lives of people with difficulties. To show them their worth, and to build their self-confidence. This cafe has received a ton of attention and a lot of responses. The food there is simple yet delicious. This shows how down to earth yet, remarkable the cafe is. It is a true and honest change. And I perceive that when more changes like these are brought into our daily lives and society, only then will our community grow to become a better one.

Sakshi Kale is in the 8th grade. One of her prominent hobbies is dancing. She has been dancing her whole life and has been focusing only on Odissi for the past 8 years. She has a great aptitude for music and drama as well. She also enjoys writing essays. She can’t sing but plays the piano beautifully. Along with all of this, she is learning kickboxing. She has fun when everyone is together and united. She is a big feminist and feels strongly for gender equality. She also stands actively for the LGBTQ+ community.